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A Tenant’s guide to renting through Steptons


Term – The minimum letting period for the properties we let is six months. However, a typical tenancy will be for an initial period of one year, though it is common for the agreement to have a “break clause” allowing the tenant and the landlord to terminate the tenancy at some point after six months has elapsed.
A typical notice period for a tenant to terminate their tenancy is one month. Legally, a landlord has to give a tenant a minimum of two month’s notice.

Payment of Intent – A sum, normally equivalent to one week’s rent will be collected to show your intent to proceed with a tenancy and in this respect we will make the necessary arrangements, subject to contract, for the commencement of this proposed tenancy. This fee will be credited against the initial payment.

Initial Payment – Prior to the commencement of any tenancy, we require the following payment to be made:

  1. One Month’s Rent - This is calculated on a calendar month basis, by multiplying the weekly rent by 52 and dividing by 12. However please note that in cases where we are unable to reference the tenant or no suitable guarantees are available a different payment regime may be required.
  2. Security Deposit – Normally equivalent to six weeks rent. This is held against any breakages, missing items or damages over and above normal wear and tear. It is returned at the end of the tenancy, less any appropriate deductions. All deposits taken on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are held according to the terms of the Tenant Deposit Scheme.
  3. Agreement Fee – We charge a fee for processing a prospective tenant’s application. Currently this charge is £200 plus VAT (Total £240).
  4. Reference Charge – Each tenancy is subject to the receipt of satisfactory references. We use the services of an accredited referencing agency. Their charge is £30.00 plus VAT (Total £36) for each application, which we pass on to the applicant.

Should our initial enquiries necessitate additional checks then further charges will be incurred. Please ask our staff for details.

We require all of the above to be in our account as cleared funds before the start of the tenancy.

Renewal of Tenancy Fee – if you decide to renew your tenancy agreement after the initial term, there will be a further charge of £70 plus VAT (Total £84) for the preparation of the tenant's renewal documentation.

Utilities – It is usually the case that the tenant is responsible for all the utilities supplied to the property i.e. electricity, gas, water and telephone.

Council Tax – The tenant is responsible for this charge and for registering with the relevant local authority.

Service Charge – For leasehold properties, the landlord remains responsible for the payment of the service charge. Some properties have communal heating and/or hot water systems, which are paid for by the service charge.

Inventory – It is usual for an inventory check to be carried out at the start (“check-in”) and at the end (“check-out”) of every tenancy, by a professional and independent inventory company, on behalf of both the landlord and the tenant.
The inventory is to provide a basis for any claim to be made for cleaning, missing items, breakages or unreasonable damage, which may occur during a tenancy. It also helps to protect a tenant from any unreasonable claims by the landlord. Typically, the landlord pays for the check-in and the tenant pays for the check-out.